A few tips on surviving Life is Beautiful in style:
Leave your Doc Martens at home
Fun fact: Did you know that when boxing Hall of Famer Marvin Hagler was in training camp, he did all his running in combat boots because, you know, sneakers are for wussies. Here’s the thing, though: Hagler was a total badass. You? Not so much. So, considering that you’ll be putting some serious miles on your footwear of choice as you hike between Life is Beautiful’s numerous stages, make sure you were something comfortable, cupcake.
Don’t sleep on the lower-billed acts
He now headlines arenas, but a few years back, rapper G-Eazy played one of Life is Beautiful’s smallest stages in the middle of the day. We were there, and judging by the modest crowd, you weren’t. Clearly, we’re better than you. Seriously, though, this is one of Life is Beautiful’s strengths: booking acts like Twenty One Pilots, Haim and Phantogram while they were still on the rise, before they got as big as they are now. This year, there’s plenty of new and/or up-and-coming acts like Banks & Steelz, a collaboration between Interpol singer Paul Banks and Wu-Tang Clan major domo RZA, saxophonist Kamasi Washington, who played on Kendrik Lamar’s “To Pimp A Butterfly,” Chicago gospel rapper Sir the Baptist and plenty more. See ’em now so you have bragging rights over your less-in-the-know friends — kind of like we do over you.
Feed your brain
There’s an abundance of tasty eats at Life is Beautiful, but forget your gut for a second, ’cause your cerebellum is starving. This is where the Life is Beautiful “Ideas” series of talks at The Venue comes in. There’s a sweet lineup of speakers, including RuPaul, artist Shepard Fairey and, in the most anticipated booking of the weekend, assorted members of the superstar Review-Journal features department, who will hold court at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Show up, and learn how to be awesome.
Laugh it off
At previous installments of Life is Beautiful, the laughs were primarily supplied by your dance moves during Lionel Richie’s set in 2014. This go-round, leave it to the pros. For the first time, there will be comedians performing at the fest this year, with sets by such accomplished funnymen as Baron Vaughn, Eddie Pepitone and Todd Glass. Hey, why did the chicken cross the road? Honestly, we have no idea, but we’re hoping one of these dudes can fill us in.
What: Life is Beautiful
Where: Fremont East Arts District, downtown
Tickets: Single-day tickets start at $125, three-day passes start at $285 (www.lifeisbeautiful.com)